The mission of the Monadnock Energy Hub (MEH) is to pursue effective and achievable initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, accelerate the adoption of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, and improve energy security and resilience throughout our communities.
We promote and organize community actions that strengthen the local energy economy during the urgent transition to renewables and we aspire to have our region meet all of its electricity needs with renewable energy by 2030, and all of its heating and transportation needs with renewable energy by 2050.
Vision: The New Energy Economy for the Monadnock Region *
*With appreciation to NHSEA for support and their significant contributions to this plan.
Energy is an essential part of our lives, from heating and lighting our homes, to transportation, to powering our businesses. Whether motivated by the hundreds of millions of dollars leaving the state each year to buy imported oil and other fossil fuels or concerned about the changing climate, we are collectively committed to making the transition to local clean energy technologies.
Energy efficiency and locally produced clean and renewable energy yield greater energy self-determination, business opportunities, jobs and local retention of wealth. Many citizens and businesses are already taking action to change this situation, and many more support this transition to a clean energy future for our state and region.
The New Energy Economy:
- A low-carbon, distributed energy system based on energy efficiency and renewable sources;
- Minimal energy imports and maximum wealth creation from in-state energy production and expenditures;
- Creation of quality local jobs and business opportunities through the development of clean energy and efficiency;
- Informed and engaged citizens, businesses, and public officials making sound infrastructure and investment decisions in clean energy;
- Reduced consumption, minimized waste, and equitable distribution of production and use (environmental justice);
- Transparency in the costs and benefits of energy choices; a market where consumer choice is informed by full information, including the effects of externalities;
- Public utilities and energy cooperatives that operate under a revenue model that reinforces all the points above.
MEH Strategy and Program
Who We Are: MEH is a nonprofit collaboration of Local Energy Committees, citizens, businesses, organizations, and local, regional, and state governments invested in the wellness of the Greater Monadnock Region of New Hampshire. We welcome participation and ideas that connect and empower all who strive to achieve the collective climate and energy goals of the New Energy Economy for our region.
MEH emerged in January 2018 inspired by successful “energy hub model” in other regions of NH. Through our network, we intend to educate, stimulate demand, and facilitate the adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency in all community sectors of the Monadnock Region: municipal, residential, commercial, educational, and institutional.
An understanding of regional energy issues and needs is provided by the 2010 Monadnock Sustainability Action Plan (www.greenmonadnock.org ), which was developed through a three-year collaborative process. Due to this inclusive process, it reflects the priorities and concerns of local citizens as well as best practices in energy conservation planning.
From the Introduction: “If we reduce our energy by 30% through simple no to low cost strategies, we could reduce our energy bills and save the region $105,000,000 a year… New Hampshire is ranked low for the amount of energy we are consuming but ranks a lot higher for …our spending on energy. This clearly indicates it is in every New Hampshire taxpayer’s interest and benefit to reduce our energy use and keep our energy dollars circulating in our local economies versus leaving the state.”
We will continually refine our efforts to maximize effectiveness and ensure program relevance and continuity. The Monadnock Sustainability Action Plan will be used as one guideline for such evaluation.
MEH Overarching Goals
- Catalyze creation of new Local Energy Committees (LECs).
- Deliver resources and technical assistance to empower LECs and Hub members to implement energy projects.
- Facilitate regional collaborations among LECs and Hub members.
Hub Formation: January – July 2018
Accomplishments During Formation
The Monadnock Energy Hub first met in January 2018. Within the first few months of discussions, the Hub established a Steering Committee. Within the next couple of months the Steering Committee, with input and support from the collective Hub members, (1) authored a Governance Document; (2) secured initial funding; (3) authored and disseminated a job solicitation for a contracted Coordinator, interviewed several applicants, and hired a Hub Coordinator; (5) drafted a Two-Year Strategic Plan to be implemented by the Coordinator in collaboration with the Steering Committee and other Hub members; and (6) cultivated initial relationships with several dozen Hub members representing at least fourteen Monadnock area cities and towns. The Steering Committee will, in collaboration with NH Sustainable Energy Association (NHSEA) and Local Energy Solutions (LES), continue to work closely with the Coordinator to execute the Two-Year Strategic Plan.
Two Year Strategic Plan: August 1, 2018- August 1, 2020
Coordinator Role: The Coordinator is the “on the ground” face of the Monadnock Energy Hub. The coordinator’s job is to build relationships and trust with Hub members, Local Energy Committees (LECs), municipal officials, energy companies, and other partners. The Coordinator will work with New Hampshire Sustainable Energy Association (NHSEA) and Local Energy Solutions (LES), and all of the organizations and partners encompassed in those networks, to deploy resources and technical assistance to Hub members. Over the course of the two-year plan, the Coordinator will cultivate LEC capacity using the following roadmap:
- Meet with all Hub members:
- Identify needs and goals;
- Work with NHSEA and LES to deploy technical assistance to Hub members to achieve their goals.
- Develop presence of Hub as a Clearing House to share information and resources, and to facilitate communication among Hub members.
- Develop a database of Hub members, affiliations, efforts, and contact information.
- Create and maintain Monadnock Energy Hub page on Monadnock Sustainability Network website, including a calendar of regional events, and create online forum allowing Hub members to engage with one another (e.g., Google Groups).
- Coordinate regular media presence, including monthly columns to be written by Hub members.
- Share with Hub members communications from NHSEA regarding opportunities for input on pending energy policy and legislation
- Conduct solarize and/or weatherize public outreach campaigns.
- Fall-Winter 2018-2019: Round one planning.
- Identify and inform all contractors, utilities, and interested towns.
- Screen and select suitable vendor partners.
- Educate and train LECs on their roles
- Winter-Spring 2019: Implement and coordinate round one.
- Summer 2019: Evaluate round one and plan round two.
- Fall 2019: Implement and coordinate round two.
- Winter 2019-2020: Evaluate round two and plan round three.
- Spring 2020: Implement round three.
- Summer 2020: Evaluate round three.
- Fall-Winter 2018-2019: Round one planning.
- Organize, promote, and facilitate targeted workshops, events, and other programming for Hub members to occur on a quarterly basis (i.e., a total of 8 programming events over the course of the two-year strategic plan). The Coordinator will work with the Steering Committee, NHSEA, and LES to develop written templates and resources to accompany programming. Examples of programming may include:
- “How to” benchmark energy use with Portfolio Manager with Linda Darveau of EPA Region 1
- “How to” run solarize/weatherize public outreach campaigns with Sarah Brock of Vital Communities
- “How to” deploy Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure in your town
- Parallel programming will include organization of a Drive Electric Week event for the region (September 8-16/2018)
- Other programming to be determined.
- Report progress to Steering Committee quarterly and annually
Steering Committee Role: Successful implementation of the Two-Year Strategic Plan will establish Monadnock Energy Hub as a critical organization facilitating the successful implementation of energy projects across the region. Steering Committee roles include:
- Strategic Plan: clear and regular updates to maximize effectiveness.
- Hub Membership: Promote growth in membership and cultivate active participation by members.
- Steering Committee & Staff Development: Plan for transitions and reorientation; training (skills, orientation, recruitment process, expectations, and evolution as a whole).
- Organizational Systems: budgets, accounting, employment, and other “nuts & bolts” etc.
- Branding: Effort to time with the release of the new and improved entity.
- Staffing: MEH will need to maintain and ideally expand its staff to accomplish its mission.
- Funding: Diverse and consistent funding in support of a budget that serves to meet the mission and goals of MEH annually. Build on our base funding: grants, charitable giving, off-budget project-specific fundraising, and fees for services are options.